Don’t Be a Grinch! Make These 5 Easy Christmas Treats for Less Than $5 Each

These north pole pretzels are Christmas themed and only cost $4.14 to make.
These north pole pretzels are Christmas themed and only cost $4.14 to make. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

All right — we know there’s no shortage of sweet treats around the holidays, but are they all easy to make (and eat!)?

Didn’t think so.

That’s why we collected five recipes you can make for all your Christmas parties and potlucks that come together with just three ingredients — and for under $5.

Note: We’re not counting pantry staples like vegetable oil or sugar. However, some of these recipes call for the same store-bought ingredients, which means less time fighting the crowds in the supermarket and a lower grocery bill to boot!

Easy Christmas Treats With Only 3 Ingredients

Here are five Christmas treats you can make with just three ingredients each!

North Pole Pretzels

These north pole pretzels are Christmas themed and only cost $4.14 to make.

Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Because there’s no landmark as tasty as the North Pole (and because candy canes are nice to look at but too sticky and sweet to eat).

Ingredients

24 pretzel rods: $1.68

1 cup white chocolate chips: $1.24

3 ounces red sugar sprinkles: $1.22

Total:  $4.14

Cost per treat: 17 cents

Instructions

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second increments until fully melted, stirring in between. (Tip: If the chocolate is not entirely smooth when fully melted, stir in a teaspoon of coconut or vegetable oil.)

Hold the end of a pretzel rod and dip it into the white chocolate until it is almost completely covered. Lay it on the parchment paper.

Using the red sprinkles, create diagonal stripes down the length of the “pole.”

Allow to cool and harden. Pop in the refrigerator or freezer to speed up the process.

Makes 24 North Pole pretzels.

Sugar Cookie Truffles

These sugar cookie truffles only involve three ingredients and it only cost $4.96 to make.

Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Because the only thing better than cake pops are sugar cookie truffles.

Ingredients

One 11-ounce package of ready-to-bake sugar cookie dough: $2.50

1 cup white chocolate chips: $1.24

2 ounces red and green sprinkles: $1.22

Total: $4.96

Cost per treat: 21 cents

Instructions

Bake the cookies according to package instructions, but remove from oven after 9 to 12 minutes. The edges should look slightly browned but the centers should be soft. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

While cookies are still soft, roll each cookie into a ball. Place in the refrigerator to cool for 15 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second increments until fully melted, stirring in between. Use a teaspoon of oil if necessary for a smooth texture.

Dip the cookie balls into the chocolate (using a fork, skewer or your fingers — dealer’s choice and all equally messy).

Set on the parchment-lined baking sheet. While the chocolate is still soft, decorate each truffle with red and green sprinkles.

Allow to cool and harden.

Makes 24 sugar cookie truffles.

Candy Cane Bark

Candy cane bark only involves two ingredients and it costs only $4.43 to make.

Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

This candy cane bark is easy to make — plus you get to crush candy canes with a mallet! Let’s be real: Who doesn’t want to do that?

Ingredients

3 cups white chocolate chips: $3.72

6 peppermint candy canes: 71 cents

Total: $4.43

Cost per treat: 18 cents

Instructions

Place six candy canes in a large zip-top bag. (You may want to double-bag them if you’re questioning the strength of your bags.) Use a meat tenderizing mallet, a rolling pin or a heavy pot to crush the candy canes into ¼ inch pieces.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second increments until fully melted, stirring in between. Use a teaspoon of oil if necessary for a smooth texture.

Spread the chocolate across the baking sheet in a ¼-to-½-inch-thick layer. While the chocolate is still soft, sprinkle the peppermint pieces across the top.

Allow to cool and harden. Once hard, break the chocolate up into bite-size pieces.

Makes 24 bite-size bark pieces.

Santa’s Midnight Snack

What do you get when you blend popcorn and chocolate together? You get Santa's midnight snack and it only costs $4.73 to make.

Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Popcorn + chocolate = the perfect blend of sweet and salty — not unlike the man who keeps a list determining who gets the awesome presents and who gets coal.

Ingredients

⅓ cup popcorn kernels: 30 cents

1 cup dark chocolate chips: $1.24

One 11.4-ounce bag of red and green M&Ms: $3.19

Total: $4.73

Cost per treat: 24 cents

Instructions

Place a large pot with a lid on the stove over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of oil (any type will do) to the bottom of the pot. The oil should cover the bottom of the pot completely but not pool. Drop three popcorn kernels into the pot and cover with lid.

When one or more kernels pop, add half of the popcorn kernels. (You’ll want to do this in a couple of batches, working with half of your kernels at a time.) Shake the pot gently, keeping it over the heat. Continue shaking until the popping sounds slow almost to a stop.

Place in large bowls and set aside. A little salt helps play up the salty-sweet flavor, but it isn’t required.

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second increments until fully melted, stirring in between. Use a teaspoon of oil if necessary for a smooth texture.

Drizzle the melted chocolate generously across both bowls of popcorn.

Sprinkle M&Ms on top.

Makes 20 half-cup servings.

Molten Caramel Snickerdoodles

These molten caramel snickerdoodles only involve 4 ingredients and cost $4.99 to make.

Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

I mean, gingerbread is great and all, but get a load of these caramel-filled, sugar-dusted snickerdoodle bombs.

Ingredients

1 crescent dough sheet: $2.59

24 Kraft caramel squares: $1.33

1 cup white sugar: 22 cents

2 tablespoons cinnamon: 85 cents

Total: $4.99

Cost per treat: 21 cents

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the cinnamon and sugar together in a medium bowl.

Unroll the dough into a flat sheet and cut into 2×2-inch squares.

Wrap square of dough around a caramel, pinching the seams to ensure they stay closed.

Roll the dough ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place onto a baking sheet.

Bake the snickerdoodle bombs for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Best if eaten while warm (or rewarmed).

Makes 24 molten caramel snickerdoodles.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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